Anorexia Nervosa Disorder

Helpful Information

Possible Causes of Anorexia Nervosa Disorder

Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by an abnormally low body weight, intense fear of gaining weight, and a distorted perception of body weights.

According to the Mayo Clinic, a combination of biological, psychological, and environmental factors may cause Anorexia Nervosa. Eating disorders often run in families and people may have a genetic tendency toward perfectionism. In addition, emotional characteristics may contribute to anorexia. Young women starve themselves for long periods of time, yet they remain convinced that they need to lose more weight. Peer pressure contributes to eating disorders, especially young women have a distorted image of their body. Young people are definitely influenced by the media, movies, or celebrities.

Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa Disorder

  • Extreme weight loss
  • Chronically fatigued
  • Thin appearance
  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Abnormal blood counts

Treatment Options

Psychotherapy can help people with anorexia but it is a long process because people have self-esteem issues, depression, and anxiety. Cognitive-behavioral therapies is another treatment option for anorexia nervosa. This treatment is based on the theory that a person's thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are interconnected and can be restructured to support healthier thoughts and actions. The patient also has a choice of relaxation techniques or family therapy. In Abnormal Psychology by Susan Nolen-Hoeksema provides an example of family therapy. The Maudsley model is one of the best-studied family therapy, which involves 10 to 20 sessions over 6 to 12 months.
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Common Myths Or Misconceptions About Anorexia Nervosa

There are several myths about eating disorders that can lead to stigma, making it difficult for some individuals to seek treatment.

  • Parents are the cause of Anorexia Nervosa.
  • Eating disorders are a matter of choice or lifestyle.
  • People at a a normal body weight cannot have an eating disorder.
  • Getting better is just a question of eating.
  • Eating disorders are primarily about food.
  • Only teenage girls have eating disorders.

Eating disorders are about food and behaviors. People of all ages struggle with eating disorders; they may begin during early years but there are also older women who struggle with eating disorders.

Credentials and Requirements Needed to Treat Eating Disorders

A Bachelor's Degree or graduate degree in health education. Courses include social behaviors, philosophy and education, eating disorder treatment modalities, awareness and prevention of eating disorders, and counseling and nutrition.

In addition to degree requirements, some states require a license. For example, a certification from the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals.


Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (2014). Abnormal psychology (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. (2015). Retrieved from Anorexia nervosa Causes.